Your diet directly affects your physical health, including your oral health. Establishing a hearty & healthy diet provides the body with the correct nutrients to strengthen and invigorate your gums, teeth and bones. A proper diet will help improve your immune system and prevent diseases including gum disease and cavities from forming in your mouth. Establishing adequate nutrition is critical and can also make a remarkable difference for your self-confidence and mental health. Here are a few preventative methods to improve your oral health:
Preventative Methods to Improve Oral Health
- Reduce the number of soft drinks you consume each day
- If you eat candy & sugary treats, do it at dinner because the extra saliva produced to digest your meal will protect your teeth from the excess sugar
- Check the ingredients in your food; when sugar is the first listed ingredient, it contains a high volume of sugar. Look for other options.
- Over the counter medicines commonly contain sugar, ask your physician or pharmacist for alternative options
- Stay hydrated! Drinking water is imperative to saliva production and will protect your teeth and gums from infection and disease
- Brush 3-4 times a day (or after meals) and establish a habit of flossing each night
Who Is Most at Risk for Oral Health Concerns Due to Dietary Choices?
Children need a healthy and nutritious diet to help them form a sturdy set of teeth. A diet that consists of fruits, veggies and healthy proteins. When children first start growing teeth, parents need to be extremely conscientious about the meals they prepare. If a child consumes an improper diet (sugary foods, citrus fruits, etc.) they are susceptible to cavities and tooth decay. Ensure you are extremely careful when purchasing food for your children.
Unfortunately, senior citizens are susceptible to oral health concerns due to the lack of mobility/transportation, being placed under restrictive diets by their physicians, or not having enough funds to purchase balanced & nutritious meals and snacks. An improper diet for seniors can result in them experiencing gum diseases, mouth aches, and joint discomfort.
Nutritious Foods to Eat for Good Oral Health
Ensure that you eat foods that are high in:
- Calcium (milk, beans, cheese, seeds, spinach)
- Iron (fish, cashews, baked potatoes)
- Vitamin D (cheese, egg yolks, canned tuna, mushrooms, salmon)
- Vitamin C (oranges & clementine’s, sweet potatoes, broccoli and cauliflowers, tomatoes)
- Potassium (bananas, raisins, peas & cucumbers)
Why Your Diet Is Critical for Your Entire Health
Your diet is paramount to the entire well-being of your physical and mental health. Making smart food choices will decrease your risk of future health concerns which could include high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Furthermore, making wise food choices will reduce your risk of oral health concerns such as halitosis (persistent bad breath), periodontal diseases (gum diseases), plaque buildup and tooth decay. For more information on making smart food choices that will benefit your oral health, contact your local dentistry.